While period sex was once frowned upon (albeit myopically), it’s now socially accepted — in some ways, it’s even encouraged. Legend even has it that orgasms can offer relief from menstrual discomfort (namely, period cramps). The thing is, when many of us are in the throes of menstrual cramps, it’s hard for us to even fathom the thought of sex. Even if we also really want it during this time, our normal repertoire of sex positions sounds painful and intense — and therefore unappetizing. Where, oh where, are the period cramp-friendly sex positions that’ll alleviate our pain and offer immense pleasure in equal measure?
Dr. Natasha Chinn, a New Jersey-based gynecologist, tells SheKnows that period-friendly sex positions do exist. Lots of them! You just have to know what you’re looking for. According to Dr. Chinn, since a lot of the pain accompanying menstruation has to do with your uterus and ovaries, you’ll want to avoid sex positions that put pressure on those areas. Anything that intensifies or deepens penetration is probably also a no-no, and even traditional positions — like missionary and doggy — may be less fun due to their acute angles.
So what is on the menu? Anything that puts you on top, where you can control the depth of penetration, Dr. Chinn says. Sideways positions are also an option: “On the side, there’s not as forceful of a thrust,” she notes. Anything that mitigates the intensity of intercourse or puts you in control is probably a good idea. And remember, you and your partner can always experiment to determine what angles, positions, and depths of penetration work best for both of you.
1. Spooning Sex
Spooning Sex is a tried-and-true favorite for a reason: It’s cozy, hot, and intimate all at once. And since it’s a position that puts you and your partner on your sides, it comes Dr. Chinn-approved.
Start by lying on your side with your knees bent, and invite your partner to spoon you. From there, they can penetrate you as slowly and gently as you want them to. Remember, the closer your knees are to your chest, the more acute the penetration angle will be. So adjust your knee position to intensify (or de-intensify) stimulation as you see fit.
2. Cowgirl/Reverse Cowgirl
Another classic that’s excellent for period sex? Cowgirl. (Its equally classic little sister, Reverse Cowgirl, is also period sex-friendly.) Positions that put you on top leave you in control of the stimulation, so sex can be as intense or gentle as you want it to be.
Ask your partner to lie down on their back, and climb on top of them, with one knee on either side of their body. Face your partner for standard Cowgirl, or turn around to face their feet for Reverse Cowgirl.
If you want to change things up a little, ask your partner to sit up (while keeping their legs straight forward). This will allow them to grab your butt (if you’re facing forward in standard Cowgirl) or your boobs (if you’re facing away in Reverse Cowgirl).
Small changes like this can spice up a tried-and-true position without intensifying the depth of penetration.
Ask your partner to stand up and bend their knees until they’re shorter than you. Meet them face-to-face, and slide onto their penis or strap-on at a speed and depth that feels comfortable to you.
The Face-to-Face is an excellent alternative for those who prefer a position that puts them on top, but who want to try something a little more out-of-the-ordinary than Cowgirl or Reverse Cowgirl.
Standing sex is always a bold move — and why not use your period as an excuse to try something new?
4. The Chair
Ask your partner to kneel on the bed with their legs totally bent and their torso sitting straight up. Then, squat until you land in their lap, and lean your back into your partner’s chest. When you sit, be sure to slide onto your partner’s penis or strap-on. You can then grind and move around in whatever way feels best for both of you.
The Chair puts a fun twist on Spooning Sex by (comfortably) turning it upright. It also gives you total control over the depth and intensity of play.
Ask your partner to sit on the bed, with their torso upright and their legs straight in front of them. Then, sit with your butt between their knees, and do the same. Once you’re both face-to-face and a little intertwined, you and your partner can wrap your legs around each other. (You can also leave them straight ahead, if that’s more comfortable.)
From there, you can pull each other closer to enjoy a little low-key penetrative intercourse. Or you can engage in some mutual masturbation. The Twister maximizes eye contact while minimizing penetrative intensity, making it all kinds of intimate.
Think of the Head-to-Toe as spooning sex with a twist: Instead of being head-to-head and toe-to-toe, you and your partner will both be head-to-toe.
Lie down as you would if you were spooning, but bend your knees a little less than usual. Ask your partner to lie down behind you, facing the same direction as you are, but with their head facing your feet and their feet behind your head.
You may have to play with the position a little to make sure your genitals line up, but once they do, your partner can penetrate you with their penis or strap-on, and you can gaze into each others’ eyes throughout intercourse.
7. The Lotus
Have your partner sit down with their legs crossed in front of them, and then sit on their lap, facing them, with your legs wrapped around their back. From there, you can grind, move up and down, or do whatever else feels good for you.
The Lotus is a little sweeter and cozier than classic Cowgirl, making it an excellent position for moments where you prefer the slow and sensual to the fast and intense.